Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha is ready for a team change after four years with the Dutch Rabobank team. He said yesterday that he expects to have a new contract in the coming month.
"It's true, I am leaving Rabobank," Flecha told Cyclingnews. "It's the team I have been with the longest. I will be 32 years old at the end of this year and I feel like I need a change; a new team."
Flecha won once in his time with Rabobank, the 2008 Circuit Franco-Belge. He is one of the best Spanish Spring Classics riders, placing third in the 2008 Ronde van Vlaanderen and second in the 2007 Paris-Roubaix. He said yesterday's reports in Dutch speaking newspapers that he was under-appreciated in the last four years were wrong.
"They said I am leaving because there is not respect – it is not true. The last four years with Rabobank have been beautiful, there are always ups and downs, but there were more ups than downs."
Flecha is looking for a new team where he can ride as a captain and co-captain as he did at Rabobank. He said British team Sky is a possibility, but he is waiting until later in the month to confirm his new home.
"I am not looking for a team where I am the 'big guy'. Even when I raced at Fassa Bortolo I had no problems racing with Fabian Cancellara. I think a team can achieve bigger results when you share your role with other top guys.
"I have been a leader in the cobbled classics in the last four years, but shared my role with others, like Nick Nuyens and Sebastian Langeveld."
The only other Spaniard to make the Paris-Roubaix podium before Flecha was Miguel Poblet, in 1958 and 1960. Poblet also won the Milano-Sanremo twice and three stages of the Tour de France.
Flecha won a stage in the 2003 Tour de France when he was with team iBanesto.com. When he raced with Fassa Bortolo, from 2004 to 2005, he won the 2004 Championship of Zürich and Giro del Lazio.